I have the privilege of being the mommy to two wonderful little boys. The oldest is four and the youngest is two. When I was pregnant with our second little guy I was so excited about the prospect of them being best friends… dreams of quiet train playing and gentle cuddles filled my head.
Was I crazy????
When Mason and Rosser met for the first time, you would have thought I had given birth to a stinky little opossum from the back yard. Rosser, being 2.5 at the time, wanted nothing to do with Mason. I remember my mom saying “One day they will play together and interact; right now little Mason doesn’t offer a toddler anything.”
I am not the perfect mommy, this I know, but I did work hard while I was pregnant to try to prepare Rosser for another child in the house. I read about the baby, talked about the baby, my mom even gave Rosser a little baby doll to snuggle and take care of.
The truth from this mommy: I felt like I had failed after Mason was born. My loving little 2 year old wanted nothing to do with this tiny baby that I loved so much. Sometimes he wanted nothing to do with me. Sometimes he only wanted me… mostly when I was nursing or busy with the baby. It was tough to try to let him know that I was still there for him as much as I ever was, because quite frankly… I really wasn’t. It hurt my heart to feel torn between two of my little loves.
Things have changed a lot in the last years… Rosser is now 4.5 and Mason is a bit over 2, we are awaiting the arrival of another little baby early 2013 and (among many other things)… I think my children love one another!!!
Low and behold my wise mom was right (imagine that)! They actually did fall in love… real love; no books involved or fake baby dolls. I didn’t have to tell them how to love each other.
I didn’t fail, I just took it way to personally and expected to much to soon.
I never realized that I didn’t have to do a thing… but love them.
The more and more my belly grows with our third little one the more I have been thinking about Rosser and Mason’s relationship. The more I seem to analyze it and the role I think I play in it.
I have come to one pretty big (I think) realization:
Sometimes they are better off if I stay out of their business!!!!
Now that the children actually play together there are obviously more opportunities for one, or both, to get hurt, angry, or upset with the other. I have noticed that, for the most part, when they are playing together and a confrontation arises it is best for me to listen and observe. When I get involved and do not let the scenario play out it hinders their true emotions and the situation seems to get so much more intense.
Like I wrote earlier… I am not a perfect mom, but I do know that my husband and I display respect to each other, our children and everyone around us. We have tried to teach our children, mostly by example, the right way to treat people.
I need to trust that they know how good it feels to resolve a situation without a battle of body or words. I need to trust that I have taught them this. I need to listen intently from the next room (or wherever I am), ready to step in if need be, but knowing that they have the tools to diffuse the situation on their own.
I hope as they grow and their relationship changes, when they are independent, when they have families of their own, that they still come to me with concerns or problems. I know they will fight during their adult years… I know that they will annoy each other even then. This is normal and such a big part of loving so much.
When they are adults I am sure that I will have opinions about some of their issues or arguments, but I will try my hardest to never voice them or interject my thoughts. Parents can add fuel to the fire without ever knowing they are doing it. One sentence can make that child feel like there is favoritism and this child feel like they aren’t capable of the responsibility of a relationship which creates an unnecessary emotional dependency. Sometimes healthy relationships don’t need a “protector” or “referee”. As much as I want peace between my children all the time, I know this is not reality… not now, not twenty years from now.
We are beginning to give them more space when it comes to confrontation between the two of them. We have given them the tools to start developing a trusting relationship between one another and we will continue to do so. They are smart little people and are doing a great job adapting to this large world. We see love in so much that they do.
And we didn’t have to do a thing…
but love them.
Thanks for your time,